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Ree Booth may have felt the rewards of renovating her hosting property but it is guests to this secluded slice of nature who will enjoy the efforts of her - and Nan’s - labours!

Tell us about your business The Hare & Hound.

The Hare & Hound is a 380-acre property in a rural locality called Mozart, near Oberon, NSW.

A delightful renovated farmhouse with open plan living and a newly constructed deck set on the northern side of the house, built to soak up the morning and afternoon sun, amongst the cottage garden.

My instagram page @thehareandhoundau has become a snapshot of all things work and life for me as a busy mum, wife, property host and farmer.

What inspired you to start The Hare & Hound?

I’d been hosting properties as a side hustle for a few years and used that income to help facilitate our ultimate dream of buying our first farm. We wanted to buy back a part of my husband’s old family farm, which had a run-down cottage on it. We’d been leasing the farm for a number of years and could see so much potential in it. We pitched the idea of renovating the cottage and hosting guests to some friends. It was a dream that seemed far-fetched in the beginning; but once our friends (and now also business partners) saw the property and walked the river banks, they also saw how special it was.

What makes The Hare & Hound unique?

The property is only 10 minutes from our local town and is surrounded by beautiful pine forests, national parks (including Kanagra Boyd), the Jenolan Caves and Mayfield Gardens. It is tucked away in a private location and you feel a million miles from anywhere. The Hare & Hound is a place to relax and disconnect from the busyness of life. With over a kilometre of Fish River frontage, and plentiful wildlife including wombats, wallabies and platypus, it’s the perfect place for walks, picnics, trout fishing, kayaking - or swimming in our large spring-fed dam. No people, no traffic noise - just peace, quiet and bright stars at night.

What do you enjoy most about owning and running your own business?

It’s rewarding - I’ve renovated three houses using the income from property hosting. I also really enjoy the challenge of working on a budget and repurposing things wherever possible.

What challenges did you have to overcome at the beginning of your journey?

The beginning of my hosting journey coincided with a drought. I had big plans for renovating and then all of a sudden the money was being used for more important things. So I painted everything white and used all of the nice furniture from my own house to get started. I hired white hotel linen and borrowed nice homewares from my mum (who now also has the hosting bug and has bought and renovated an early 1900s terrace). My 90-year-old grandmother helped me do all of the cleaning in the early days until I got established, her tight hospital corner bed-making skills came in handy.

Our decision to purchase The Hare and Hound took months of negotiations and then when we finally got close the pandemic was just beginning. Everyone said we were crazy to go ahead because the property market would crash, but we loved the place and knew once we put in the hard work that others would love and enjoy it as much as we do.

How do you balance work and life/mum responsibilities? Honestly I couldn’t have survived the early years of my business without the help of friends and family. We also had two wonderful au pairs live with us and help out immeasurably over a two-year period - I guess the old saying rings true “it takes a village”. I try to avoid mother guilt. If I have to work when my kids are around then I give them jobs to help out, and we work together to get the jobs done quicker. My husband and I make a conscious effort to not schedule anything on Sundays so that we both have that whole day each week to look forward to at home on the farm with our girls.

What’s the best piece of business or life advice you have ever received?

My lovely friend Simmone Logue taught me the importance of effort, energy and the value of our precious time. We can’t be spinning our wheels for nothing.

What’s on the horizon for The Hare & Hound in 2023?

I’m almost finished renovating my third property - The Urban Hare. My family won’t let me buy any more fixer-uppers, so I’ve started a hosting mentor business @thehostingmentor to help others who want to start their own short-term rental or who are already hosting but want to make it more profitable. I’ve been doing it for many years now and have learnt plenty along the way, so I’m looking forward to sharing that knowledge.

Location: OBERON | NSW

Photography: Jennifer Precians Photography


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